• Plotting: The Messy Doorway to Story

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    I'm plotting a new trilogy of novels, and as usual, it's hard. I keep thinking that someday I'll figure out THE way to plot "correctly." So far, that hasn't happened. Every time I start again, the process is unclear, messy, frustrating, and likely to fail at any moment. Yet, somehow, I muddle through to a ...

  • Pacing: Space out the Tense Moments

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    Tension on every page is the mantra for fiction writers. But what if your tension is spread unevenly throughout the story? That may be fine, because stories need a natural rhythm, an ebb and flow of action, thoughts, dialogue and reflection (inner dialogue). Some scenes may be crammed with small actions, while others pace steadily ...

  • Scenes: The Skeleton of a Novel

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    You're a human being: you can stand up, sit down, or do a somersault. That's because you have a skeleton that gives your soft tissue a structure. Likewise, it's important to give your novel a structure that will hold all the soft murmurings about characters, places and events. It begins with understanding the structure of a ...